One Baton Rouge kids program took a field trip to St. Mary Parish to learn a very important lesson on triumph in the midst of tragedy.
Pastor Albert White founded Students That Are Reaching Success (S.T.A.R.S.). Him and his seven siblings, including his brother former Atlanta Falcon Lyman White, grew up in the city of Franklin.
In 1978 their father was brutally murdered. Decades later, Pastor White brings his students to that very spot where the crime happened to show how his family was able to overcome the circumstances.
“My father and her (White’s mother) husband was stabbed right here in this spot over 38 times and pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital, but that was the tragedy,” says Pastor White to the crowd of children with his mother standing beside him.
It’s a harsh reality, but he felt he needed to show, rather than just tell his students.
Pastor White says, “It’s important that we not only tell our children, but we be able to expose our children what is most important to life and how they can overcome tragedy in the midst of anything.”
It wasn’t easy, but all eight of the White children found success despite their father’s murder. Even Lyman White, who at the time of his father’s death was just starting his football career at LSU.
Pastor White explains the lesson isn’t just in the tragedy. “Another part of the story is that in the midst of what seems terrible at a nightclub or at a bar eventually it becomes a church a place of hope help and healing.”
While the kids are young, it leaves an inspiring impression. Christopher Joe has heard Pastor White’s story twice now. He says, “When he told us the story it was tough for us to handle well for me I don’t know about everybody but for me yes…since he’s a better person from that he inspires me to grow up to always don’t look back on your past but the present.”
Along their way through the White’s hometown the kids stopped by city hall to meet the mayor.
Mayour Eugene Foulcard says, “They see with hard work and education and doing things that need to be done the sky’s the limit…I think we may have a few public servants in the midst. I had a few that said they would like to be the mayor one day.”
Fulfilling the true purpose of this trip, to light fire in the soul of kids who may not always have it easy.
Pastor White says, “I want them to know where I started my life at but also want them to know every beginning might not be as good as other people but yet in the midst of it all you can find your destiny and purpose and become the success in life that God created you to.”
At the end of Pastor White’s story he mentions years after his father’s murder one of his five sisters ended up taking care of the man who was convicted of their father’s murder. Teaching the kids to do what’s right no matter what.
After, the kids went to visit Bayou Teche.
For more information on S.T.A.R.S. click here.